The California Highway Patrol predicts that the average Californian will drive until the age of 81.
To keep Californias seniors driving safely, a handful of seniors of attended the Williams Area CHP’s first “Age Well, Drive Smart” on Thursday, October 30th at 6:30 PM.
The class provides education specifically designed to assist seniors in tuning up their driving skills, refreshing their knowledge of the rules of the road, and learning about age-related physical changes and how they affect driving ability.
“We want to give our seniors the tools they need to continue their independence and driving for as long it is safely possible,” said Williams Area CHP Officer, Kristen Murphy, “we’re not here to test driving skills of participants – that is a decision to be made between the driver and the DMV.”
Whether it is vision or hearing changes, medical conditions, limited mobility, or prescribed medications, this program is designed to identify circumstances that may be affecting a driver’s ability behind the wheel and provide support in making necessary improvements.
“It is important to understand that a driver’s ability, not age, is what determines a person’s fitness to drive,” said Murphy, “and continued education is an excellent way to help extend your driving years.”
Providing solutions to improve driver safety is key; however, the class curriculum also provides drivers and families with helpful tools to use in determining when it is time to hang up the keys and use alternate transportation. As difficult as it may be to stop driving, there are circumstances where safety is at risk and it just cannot be avoided.
“We don’t have many alternate transportation options here in Colusa County other than the help of friends and family we only have the availability of the Colusa County Transit,” said Murphy.
As of January 1, 2014, Department of Motor Vehicles reports indicated there are more than 3.6 million licensed drivers over the age of 65 in California. It is estimated the number will continue to rise, reaching four million by the year 2020. Knowing this age group’s population will continue to increase, the CHP is continuing to promote the Age Well, Drive Smart program.
If you or a family member would like to attend the FREE, Age Well, Drive Smart class, contact Kristen Murphy at the Williams Area CHP office for upcoming dates and times (530) 473-2821.